i was the one that had to choose to make a difference. my company commander called me every other day to see how i was doing. we were awesome friends. my brigade commander would call me every week to see how i was doing. something that doesn't normally happen in an organization, to have the top leadership call you to see how you're doing? the support that i had was amazing, was awesome. and people like toby keith, country singer, gary sinise, the actor, generals, three-star, four-star would come in and try to see me and i'd say, no, no thank you. and one day my wife said, scotty, andrew wants to see you. she didn't say who it was, but something hit me. it was andrew harris, the boy who i had taught sunday school with three years earlier had driven down from west point, new york, with his dad to come and see me.
mixed on book tv we discussed the devotee of transformational chinese leader deng xiaoping. this is a little over an hour. >> welcome to the cambridge forum discussing deng xiaoping and the transformation of china with ezra vogel. i'm michael sony, have harvard and i will serve as the moderator for the forum. it's a pleasure for me to introduce ezra vogel, he's the henry ford professor of the social sciences america's a harvard an expert on both japan and china he's visited asia every year since 1958. over the career he's offered much arco offered 15 books, many articles for academic and popular journals. the japanese edition of the 1979 book japan as number one lessons for america is still the all-time best seller in japan by a western author. in 1987 he began studying the
transformation of china spending eight months of the indentation of the provincial government exploring the economic and social progress of the province since he took the lead in pioneering economic reform in 1978. the result was his book one step ahead in china which appeared in 1989. professor speed retired from teaching in 2000 and i arrived at harvard in 2007 and i am truly grateful for the mentoring and the encouragement and friendship that his offer a far more junior colleagues since his retirement, but of course defending the junior colleagues hasn't been his main focus in the years since his retirement. rather he's devoted his time to completing his book on deng xiaoping and his era. the book was recently awarded the lionel goblet prize for the contributions to international understanding to buy insurance and be the first of many awards for this extraordinary book.
the masterful country inns of study chronicles the rich and intricate career from his work to 1904 of the end of the dynasty to his death. he spent almost a century of dramatic changes as of experienced war, revolution, the maoist era and finally the economic boom of opening up reform and she played a role in his nation's politics and development over the period. how does he find a way to turn china into a wealthy powerful member of the international community? what personal and cultural factors contributed to the success and what obstacles did he face? how did he go about researching and writing the study of his life and legacy? welcome to the cambridge for them, ezra vogel. [applause] >> thank you very much. it's a great pleasure to be
introduced by mike, one of the young stars around the world and got him a ph.d. in oxford and coming from canada of originally harvard is lucky to have him as a professor of chinese history. when i was retiring from harvard in 2000i was trying to think what i could do the would help americans better understand was going on in asia and i decided -- we needed a little closer whacks i decided of course china is the most complicated problem that we face in the future and to understand one of the most useful ways we understand the transformation that took place in china that set off on the past that it's going this is to understand the united states and understand madison and jefferson and washington have informed the country there would be a very
good basis for understanding what was going on in the united states, so current china was very much shaped by deng xiaoping. deng xiaoping came to power in 1978 and he really was the dominant person right up until 1992 for a period of about 14 years. what i thought i would do in the brief time today is a was told not to talk more than 20 minutes would be to talk about some of the forces that made him what he was and what he did to transform china because 1970 is the country that he inherited had a per capita income of less than $100 per capita to read notes estimate somewhere around 6,000 it's on the path that he set it on. there is almost no migration from the countryside to the city and since he came perhaps
200 million people moved in the countryside to the towns and cities. when he came into power the country was still involved in the cultural revolution and people were full of enmity to each other and he worked to unite the country. what are some of the forces that shaped him? when he was 15-years-old and was in this county high school and at that time, just after from the oversight treaty there was an outbreak of student movement in beijing where it was the first abutting of the chinese nationalism, and at that time he was a youth in high school but
if you joined in the demonstrations and she joined in the demonstrations. we've talked about how certain you that a certain time when they have their identity formed within movement or an institution it becomes very basic central to his whole life so his dedication to the national purpose began at age 15. the second thing i would mention is his experience in france from 1920 to 25. after world war i a lot of chinese students wanted to go abroad but they didn't have the opportunity they have today to study the united states and to give up to get scholarships. with the idea was earn money and
then they would study and universities would come back and bring what they learned in china and help. at the time he was 16 and was one of the youngest in the group to pass the exam to go to france. of all the countries they wanted to go to at that time, france was the main one. during world war i about a half a million chinese workers went through the soviet union to work and about 150,000 went to france so there were a lot of work of attendees and france and the chinese fossils a great him was a group of youths went to france in 1920, 1930, 1920's and from that group came the communist
youth league and to get their first of all they had to be pretty well the jacket to the and that meant their parents had to have money so they were not from the worker class or peasant class they were from club brooch what class but what they found was that if there were no jobs for them. the french that survived the war had come back and france was suffering and inflation and depression and there were not any jobs and the factory jobs that were available went to french men and they saw that they were living in very lavish homes and a very luxurious style of life and yet the workers were very poor, and at best, the chinese the were over there to get dirty greasy jobs and the ordinary french workers didn't get. so when they formed their study groups and tried to think about
what is the broader explanation of what's going on, what happened several years earlier in the 17 made a lot of sense. it seemed like the british what people exploited the working-class and the country store already fairly well developed were exploiting those in the foreign nations and so that a group that had gone to france was so disappointed they couldn't study in the universities and they were not able to save the of money to get into the university's so they continue to work in factories. they were very disillusioned both with their own country for not coming up with scholarships when they had been encouraged to go there and the french government not making an effort to support them so they formed the communist league. the leader of the group in france was about six years older and became premier foreign
minister and was the one who greeted kissinger and nixon when they went to china in '71 and '72. the third experience i think was critical in shaping his character and point of view was in the wartime from 1937 to 1949. he was in the army for 12 years, and there was an active wartime so his job as the political commissar in one of the leading units and later as the commander for the largest bottler in the history, his history was to rally the troops. a lot of other leaders were way back in the 1940's protected
from outsiders and they had room to talk about theory and philosophy and train the new generations. he was on the front line for years. his job was to get ready for the next battle pete he had to be pragmatic. he didn't have time to talk about theory and philosophy. he learned fury in moscow after france where he was for a year but he didn't have the time to engage in the battle, to engage in the theoretical discussion he was so busy with the battle. another important influence i should have mentioned about the year in moscow is that when he was in moscow from 1926 to 1927, that time the soviet union had the economic policy. the economic pottery to that policy was to have the party in charge but to have rampant markets open to foreign trade and investments and the
communist party was able to provide leadership on that. the same experience 1949 to 1952 when he was in charge of the southwest bureau his province in southwest china which had about 100 million people because of the was before the had the socialist transformation before they built the collective communists. so he had lots of experience in leading the communist party and yet having an open market economy. so after 1978 when he began to develop that pattern of the communist party leading an open economy it wasn't new to him. he already had that experience. another important experience that helps shape another important experience that helps shape deng xiaoping as the experiences the general secretary to the party. she had liked what mao when
>> when the great leap forward was devastating the countryside, the latest estimates are that perhaps 40 or 50 million people were, died prematurely during the great leap forward because of famine that was caused by the excessive zeal of the established commune system that moved rapidly to socialism that was not based on realities, and it was not based on what was going on in the outside world. mao had never been abroad, but deng had a much better sense of what was going on. now let me move from those influences to what deng did when he came to power in '78. mao had died in '76, and mao was
still pursuing the revolution to the end. he wanted to shake up the country and to have people attack those who were going what was called the capitalist road who were too free and too independent. and so most of the senior leaders of the party were criticized and purged by mao o. so deng, one of the first things he did when he took, came back after being purged again by mao in 1975, one of the first things he did was to start working on education. he took over responsibility for foreign relations and education science technology in august '77 when he came back to work. mao had purged him once at the beginning of the revolution, but he always wanted to think of
deng as somebody who might learn the lessons and be faithful to him in the long run. so while some people who were purged died in prison, deng was sent off, and the hope was by mao that he would come back and work for the good of the country and really help the place grow. well, deng when he came back, as i say, in august 1977, one of the first things he did was to open the universities and to require entrance examinations. the universities had been closed in 1966 at the beginning of the cultural revolution, and deng felt that for the country to progress of all the four modernizations, industry, agriculture, national defense, science technology/education, science technology/education was the most important. and he wanted the students to come back to the universities. and in order to do that, he wanted to have entrance examinations. under mao political
considerations were always very important in getting into universities and going for a higher education. mao wanted people who were absolutely red. deng felt that in 1977 there were no longer any landlords. they had been wiped out in the early 1950s. there were now budge boy people -- budge boy people, and, therefore, the people could go strictly by merit. so entrance to universities was strictly by merit. and in 1977 when deng decided to open universities, he made entrance examinations and those who passed got in. so the people who first passed those tests were, like, seven million who took the exams, only a few hundred thousand could enter universities. but that group of talented people, many of whom had work inside the countryside or been involved in other labor when they wanted to study were extraordinarily thankful to deng
xiaoping for letting them come back to universities. another thing that deng did that was very basic was to send people abroad to study. when president carter's science adviser who was an mit professor in earth science went to china in the summer of 1978 when they had just begun talks in normalization, and deng said to frank press we want to send hundreds of students to united states as soon as we normalize relations, and we want tens of thousands to go later. are you ready to accept them? poor frank press didn't know quite what to do. he phoned jimmy carter in the middle of the night, and i interviewed jimmy carter about his role in relating to deng, and he said frank press didn't need to wake him up in the middle of the night. but he was awakened at 3 a.m.,
and he said, sure, go ahead. so deng was ready to go ahead and send all these students abroad. now, over one million have been abroad, and deng, deng's stunts were able to achieve what he was not able to achieve in the 1920s, the opportunity to learn from worldwide what was going on. one of the biggest reforms that mao -- that deng made was decollectivization. and to manage this politically was really quite extraordinary because people who were dedicated communists and be many of those who worked in the countryside felt that the commune system was basic and that the collectivization was the basis of what they were trying to do. deng managed to handle this politically beautifully. he didn't do like an american politician, standing up in a campaign and saying i'm going to do, i'm going to be collectivized. not at all. what he did was to allow one of
his best friends to go as first party secretary to the province which had some of the biggest starvation. and he told his friend if people are starving, you've got to let them do whatever they can to find a way to earn their own, grow their own food and survive and not starve to death. and even the conservatives couldn't oppose that. and so he let local peasants decide what they could do to get ahead and, sure enough, a lot of them began farming their own family plots and broke off the big collectives. and then what deng did, he sent some journalists to the province to observe what happened and report. and they reported to beijing that there was a lot of progress. production had gone way up in those areas where they tried it. and then deng announced that if
people really wanted to and in areas where there was serious famine that they should be allowed on a broader scale to find a way to produce goods on their own. and within a year or so over 90 % of the country decollectivized. it was a brilliant way in which deng kept the support of the conservatives. he didn't go out on any limb, and he let the thing develop gradually so that more people supported it. and in the fall of of '78 his partner, one of the reasons why i mentioned his fall in the cultural revolution as being so important is because it led him to think that china needed to go a very different path. and one of the important things was of, also, forming good relations with the major countries from which they would
learn. he'd already been to europe in 1934 and 197 -- 1974 and 1975 as well as 1924 and '25. so as well as the visit to france in '74 and '75 and to france and southeast asia in '78, he had a good idea what was going on in the outside world. but he wanted others to get that same kind of message. so in the summer of 1978 he -- i'm sorry, it was may 1978, he encouraged a delegation led by a vice deputy minister to lead a group of people from all the major economic units from all the major economic planning commission, construction commission and large ministries concerned with various kinds of industries to take a five week tour of europe. when they came back, some people
thought that it was led by a man named -- [inaudible] and when they came back, some people thought they would have a meeting that would a couple hours. they started at 3 p.m., finished at 12 midnight. and what the group reported was that china was far behind the west, much further behind than they thought. also, however, the european countries were ready to lend money and help out with their technology. so rather than being discouraged by being so far behind europe, they were very excited about what they could do as a result of that visit. so in the is 1980s another thing that deng did was to begin to open up markets to the outside world. and here hong kong was, played a very key role. he knew that if he immediately said the whole country should have markets, that the conservatives would be
infuriated and there'd be a lot of polarization. what he did was say let's try some experiments. if they work in some place, we'll just see. and he allowed some of these special economic zones down near hong kong in san toe and also shah hand along the southeast coast. areas from which a lot of chinese had migrated overseas to begin to open up little zones. and he also knew that the people who had migrated overseas often had been successful business people and would be willing to invest in their own local area. so he let them begin to bring in -- and because the government of beijing was so short of money, they relied heavily on these outside investors to provide the funds that were necessary to get those experiments started. and once those experiments started, then deng encouraged high-level leaders to go visit the province, see the progress.
and, of course, they were all stunned by the new industry and construction that they saw there. and that built up a broader base of support. so those experiments could, when successful, then began to spread to other localities. in 1989 deng faced a very serious problem of student demonstrations. the students -- well, let me back up. in the beginning of 1989, gorbachev was invited to beijing to bring back good relations with the soviet union. they'd been broken off in '63 by deng himself when he went to moscow. but in 1989 he invited gorbachev and his wife to come on the conditions that they pull out of afghanistan, they pull the troops back from the northern
chinese border and that vietnam pull out of cambodia, and gorbachev accepted deng's conditions. so deng invited the news people from all over the world to come to beijing. but when he got there, what they found was some student demonstrations. they started out over the death of a very progressive, open leader who suddenly died suddenly, and the students were so upset that their beloved leader had died, he wanted more democracy, and he wants more openness. and so they began to demonstrate. there was still a lot of political control over students and ordinary people that upset them. and so there were a lot of urban support for the students who were demonstrating. and a result they had huge demonstrations, and after gorbachev left, they still didn't quiet down. and so deng warned them that
they, if they didn't quiet down, he would have to take some sterner steps. and on may 20th of 1989, he brought in the troops unarmed to try to get control. but they couldn't get control. they ran into all kinds of obstacles, and the people who didn't want troops coming into the city. and so he supported what other leaders decided to do, to allow the troops to do whatever was necessary to regain order. and on june 3rd, june 4th, they entered the city. and the best data we have is that as many as seven or eight hundred people were killed on the streets of beijing during that crackdown. i think if i had written my book 20 years ago, nobody would have paid attention to it. because people were so upset at what deng did to crack down on
june 4th that nobody would want to think about his historical role. i have no -- in my book i try to be very clear exactly what deng did in cracking down on june 4th, and there are still a lot of people who feel that was a terrible thing. but i think as we look at chinese history, we have to recognize his historical contribution. if we look at people like thomas jefferson and george washington, they owned slaves, lots of slaves. that was a terrible thing. it was an inhumane thing. if we were to think about their role in history just on only slavery, we would have missed a lot of what they did to form their country. and i think deng xiaoping, he was a complicated character. he did crack down. he felt that he needed to to keep the peace and allow the country to grow. but he also led the country to modernization. since he came to power perhaps
300 million people have come out of poverty and are now living fairly comfortable lives. the countryside has turned into an open area. he's brought modernization, technology, raised the standard of living and chinese people have really joined the world, entered international organizations. students have come across and come back to china bringing new technology, new ideas. and so it's really transformed the country. i think if you, personally, that if you start to think which leader of the 20th century did more to change the shape of world history, i think there's a strong argument that maybe it was deng xiaoping. because several hundred million people out of poverty. the country, people got wealthy, much wealthier, raised their standard of living, and he really changed the balance of
world power because in 1978 china was a weak country. it was not considered an important country in the world affairs. and today china ranks up just under the united states in terms of its influence in world affairs. so i think in short we have a very remarkable man, and what i've tried to do is objectively as i can record what people consider his good points and bad points and to recognize the extraordinary role that he's played in remaking history. thank you. [applause] >> you're joining us at cambridge forum with ezra vogel discussing his acclaimed biography of china's transformational leader, deng xiaoping. ezra, when you were talking about his life in the military, in the army, you mentioned that
he was pragmatic and too busy for theory which is ironic given that he's the author of deng xiaoping theory which now students in china all have to study. um, one of the interesting things i found in the book was the suggestion that some of the reforms for which he's famous were actually begun under his predecessor, the interim leader. some of his other reforms in agriculture and with opening markets, for example, involve transferring practices that had been tried out in places like south korea and taiwan. was deng xiaoping a visionary? was he simply a good learner? or was, as he suggests, as you suggest in the conclusion of the book, a competent manager? >> well, i go for the confident manager. if i had to put one phrase. because the idea of reform and opening was not unique to deng xiaoping. and even his successor, the one
that mao chose to be his successor who turned out to be not really a great, strong leader was in favor of a lot of those reforms. and a lot of the senior officials were in favor of a lot of those reform bees. to some extent, he did have a very long time perspective. i don't know whether visionary's the right word, but when he thought about hong kong, he said, you know, for 50 years they can keep the present system. if you asked obama, you know, what do you plan to do for the next 50 years for this country, that would hardly be a serious question. i mean, no american leader can, you know, four years is long term. [laughter] and to think to the end of your term to the next election. so i think he did have a long-term perspective. at the same time, he was experimental, and he didn't have fixed notions. and he used the expression cross the river by groping for stones.
and that wasn't -- again, that term was somehow attributed to deng, but it wasn't unique to him. he didn't invent the term. he used the terms, he used the ideas, and he was the manager who put it all together and provided the direction and a firm hand that made it all happen. >> you also talked about his skill as a politician in pushing, pushing through the decollectivization reforms. we've seen just this week with the ouster of one of the leading stars in the firmment of young leaders in china that personality politics and factional politics remain very important in china. what enabled deng to be so successful at managing and be reconciling factional interests and factional differences? >> well, one thing, i think he had the that came from working -- the authority that came from working very closely with mao. he had worked very closely,
learned foreign relations in '73, '75, he'd worked in france as a young man, and he also worked very closely with mao. but i think it was also he was smart. he remembered things, and he had a perspective on history. when i interviewed yu about deng xiaoping, yu said he thought deng was as great a leader as he'd met because he was able to recognize that what he'd learned and what he'd put into practice was not working. and he was ready to try something new, but step by step in a way that people could accept it. and that would not add to polarization, but would help resolve polarization. >> that's a skill that many politicians could benefit from having. [laughter] welcome to cambridge forum as we continue our discussion of deng
xiaoping and the transformation of china with ezra vogel. what role did deng hold in bringing china to where it is in the national economy? at this point in the program, we'll take questions from the audience. please, line up at the microphone and ask one question. we want to give as many of you as possible a chance to ask your questions. >> thank you. i'm wondering if you would care to go off from this chronological history about what deng did to develop the country into its cultural anthropology and its political philosophy. as the great chinese miracle is blooming, there are tens of thousands of chinese -- particularly in africa and other parts of the world -- that are gathering resources to feed the great dragon, if you want to call it that. and how the chinese people that are in these foreign countries are absorbing information, education, whether they want to
stay within the countries that they visited, or are they pledged or dedicated to return. so talk about the tibetan buddhists, stuff like that in the scheme of this development of china. think 30, 40 years out for us. >> my field of socialology and anthropolg, so i'm very happy to make a few comments. first of all, although mao was revolutionary in theory, he blocked mobility. he led people in the rural countryside had to stay in their commune. they couldn't move to the city. and people who worked in a certain unit in the city were bonded to that unit, and they couldn't move easily to other units. and the housing was owned by the state. so what deng did by opening up migration and allowing people to move from the countryside to the city as they had enough food to
feed the city population completely transformed a society that had been really rigid and locked in to one that was mobile. the old family system in a lot of rural areas was not reserved when you moved so rapidly and where the people in the city only had one while. one child. as for the chinese going overseas, there were many different kinds of reasons for going overseas. some are diplomats who want to keep good relations. some are working in a private pass toy to try to find out what's going on and pass it up through the hierarchy to the leaders so they're well informed what goes there. some are companies that are out there to make money and look at investments. some are energy companies that are sent by the state to try to establish solid sources of energy that will continue to
fuel china as it continues to have more automobiles and more steel plants and make, remake china. so maybe as a quick answer to some of your concerns, but i think that's a very quick overview. >> i just have one comment and one question for professor vogel. the comment is the underpinning, what underlines what you just described all he did. that is his uncanny and unrivaled ability to seize power. for example, and shortly after he was reinstored in office he started restructuring, restructuring the decor of the chinese communist party leadership, and the other example is the staging the war against -- in 1979. that the real purpose was to challenge the chairman of the communist party at the time.
nominal as he was, soon after that the communist party chief was marginalized and eventually thrown out of the leadership. so without his unrivaled ability to seize top power within the chinese communist party, nothing would be possible. the question is just very recently there has allegedly been within the core of the chinese communist authority been tentative proposal to at least reevaluate the decision of the tiananmen massacre. of course, this being highly controversial within the core of the communist authorities. so i want your comment on the impact, destabilizing impact on
the chinese communist party on the turning the table round on this issue. >> first, and first your assumption, a general comment. it is true, of course, anybody had to have a firm grip on power to carry out his activities. and it is true that wag what fun was pushed aside within two years after the vietnam war. but i don't think those are related. i talked to yu who followed the vietnam war very care friday, and i talked -- carefully, and i talked to many others and went through the records of the war. and what deng was concerned about in 1979 when he invaded vietnam was that the soviets and the vietnamese were cooperating.
the united states had pulled out of vietnam. he was very worried that the soviet union and the vietnam were going to circle around, encircle china. the base was being used by soviet ships, and there was a real danger of encirclement. and that was the reason why he went to war vietnam. there were plenty of other ways to push fung aside, and he didn't have to do much of the pushing. the dope by others. basically, it was done in november 1978 by a group of seniors while deng was in southeast asia that they, basically, began to push fung aside. secondly, on the question about june 4th, it is true that there are a lot of people in china who feel that those who were criticized for forming
demonstrations and so forth should be considered patriots and that their cases should be reversed. they should no longer be considered people who challenge the order, but who helped the order. because there are certain people living who are deeply involved in the june 4th, and i'm thinking particularly pung and also the successor who wasn't there but succeeded after, i think it's -- my best friends who know about inside power things in china suggest that it would probably take many more years. they do expect that there will be a reversal of verdicts on tiananmen, but probably not during their lifetimes. >> thank you. >> professor vogel, i appreciate your comments on the experimental nature of deng and
his reforms. um, and as we observe china, i think, going through a long history of reform without blue print, and i also wonder, i haven't read your book, i'm sorry, but you probably have written, you know, in your book, but be i'm just curious, when you said he had a long-term vision of hong kong, 50 years, did he have a similar vision on the sovereignty of taiwan and tibet? and if so, has it been going his way? >> thank you. first of all, thank you for all your help at the asian center and the fairbanks certain. he did have a long vision for taiwan. he wanted taiwan, also, to have the same system for 50 years, and he was ready not even to station troops in taiwan, let them have their own troops. but, unfortunately, he wasn't able to resolve the taiwan issue. and what he thought was most critical was that america was still sending arms to taiwan
and, therefore, taiwan was not willing to begin to negotiate. and they felt that they -- as long as the united states was behind, they didn't have to negotiate. so now we have a very complicated decision. situation. one of the tensions between the united states and china is over taiwan because as america sells arms to taiwan, then taiwan does not want to have political integration with the mainland, feel they can remain independent. and that's very disturbing. he had hoped that in his lifetime he would achieve the unification of taiwan. i think the most bitter disappointment he had with aiz aiz -- with his achievements was he was not able to bring taiwan back into the mainland. >> it surely would blacken his heart to see taiwan talking about reunification becoming inevitable. >> it certainly would. >> hi. professor, i have a question about the current new
administration. china is going think changing of guards this year, and that the recent scandal with -- [inaudible] seems like there is, you know, comment that china's going to go backward, is going to be less open. i wonder what is your view about the new administration. are they following the path of deng xiaoping, becoming more open market reform, or you think that it's kind of going backward? >> there are a lot of things we don't know, and in the united states before a person takes office we have election campaigns which there's constant exposure to tv and press conferences. now zinn ping who's going to be the new successor keeps quiet as possible. he knows that if he speaks out, it may disrupt things, and it's
very difficult, therefore, to analyze what he would do. he's not stating his policies. one can say a few things from his background, i think, that give some clues. one is when he was party secretary he was very open. secondly, that when he met foreigners in australia and japan and in iowa, they feel that he's a very open man that they can deal with in a very frank and direct way. that he's very bright. the third thing i would say judging by his father who was very unusual, he was one of the leaders of this new opening the new special economic zones and was out on the front in doing that. and also xiaobong was thrown out in january, '87. he was known as the most liberal
and open-minded of all the chinese leaders. there's only one leader who stood up for him at that time. that's xiao ping's father. i think there's some reason for hope that he will be a more open leader and continue reforms more than the present leader is doing. >> [inaudible] >> just a minute. we have to go to order here. >> i guess i have a very related question. many people say the transformation of china is not yet complete, and the leaders, the transformation of china is not yet complete. >> yes. >> and then the part people have done for deng xiaoping is mostly an economic transformation and then the political transformation is predicted to be more difficult, more interest grouped. so what do we learn from deng's leadership skills and the
strategy he used? and can we, how much can we apply those e appearancing -- experiencing the political transformation the next -- >> as you know, mao had -- [inaudible] continuous revolution. and i think one could use the word "continuous" reform. it's not just one stage that it's all done forever. i think the reforms, an opening will continue, and i think, for example, the rule of law will become more important. however, i don't think necessarily they're going to -- we should expect them to follow western-style democracy. it's not clear to me that that is their vision. i think they do need to find a way to have broader public representation so that the leaders have a broader base of legitimacy just in perpetuating the communist party. and they're experimenting with various means in the communist party of voting; the national
people's congress, there's more voting, there's more dissent. there are more cases where you select a group of potential leaders and let the people concerned choose which of that group. and so these experiments with the village elections. so i think that these experiments will continue and that reforms of many kinds will continue for many years. i think particularly now that corruption has become so widespread and be such a serious problem that xinping, i think, will have to take furthersteps to deal with corruption -- further steps to deal with corruption than the current leader does. >> thank you, mr. vogel. i'm a temporary cambridge resident. my wife is taking, you know, treatment, so i think, you know, mr. vogel is a well known
chinese expert. highly evaluated by the chinese, you know, academic and intellectual community. [laughter] and i think what you talk about about xiaoping's -- as a leader, he's very good. he opened the door 30 some years ago. one of the benefits that benefit person, you know, a country, united states 32 years ago but deng xiaoping is a good decision maker. he make decision very quick.
sometimes he made too quick, you know? so 1989, june 4th, that trouble is caused by his own mistake. yeah. if he don't discharge the general secretary, you know, it won't have so many students after he passed away dead on the streets. so this is deng xiaoping one of his big mistake. yeah. also he -- >> [inaudible] a quick decision maker and move to a quick question possibly? [laughter] >> yes. but i want to say something. and he is also not a good reader. a good leader but not good reader. all his spare times is a raid
of -- you know, bridge. he played bridge with the people, you know? [laughter] and he promote his bridge parlor to be high position. so he make some mistake, you know? i don't want to waste people's money -- people's time. i will buy your book, you know? [laughter] i will ask you -- [inaudible] and i appreciate my comments to your -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> thank you very much. i think deng did play bridge off, once or twice a week, but it's not true that all the people he played bridge with were promoted. one of his -- i was able to interview one or two of his bridge players. yu is one of them, and he was certainly not promoted. he was a brilliant bridge player. [laughter]
also deng tried to when he played bridge, he often got a bridge-playing star. he thought it was a good mental exercise to think about bridge. and so he often had, he up had a partner -- he often had a partner who was a bridge-playing star, and the other side also had one. so he thought that would improve his own skill. he also liked to play pocket pool to -- billiards. he often played that also. thank you. >> fourth time i have been to a program that brought chinese students here to learn about aids, i think it was, but basic sciences. and the interesting thing is the students were all very bright, and they knew their facts, but it's the teachers, the professors said the moon is made of green tea, they never
questioned anything. so one of the chinese-american professors deliberately gave them wrong instructions for a lab experiment. and then when the lab experiment didn't work, he said, and you believed me? i mean, what my question is, is this still true of chinese students? are they learning to question even in learned professors? [laughter] >> since china has 1.3 billion people, there is quite a bit of variation. but i think that a very strong kernel of truth that is still true that in the better high schools the key point is to get ready for the university exams. and that's learning facts and mastering information, and they do that very well. and be the critical judgment is not something that they, that's as much a part of a chinese education as part of ours. however, you had 1.1 million people who have gone abroad, a lot of them have spent enough
time here that they have more critical minds and over 200,000 of that group has now gone back, and be a lot of them have become teachers at key universities. so there is an attempt in many universities to try to develop critical thinking in a bigger way. but still i think the dominant pattern is still learn the facts, learn the information and see who is the brightest to get the information to get in the next level of examinations. that's still very dominant. and china now wants to become a world leader in science technology, and i think it's not only that the party has trouble attracting the world's best scholars because of some clamping down on free thought and free expression, but i think it's also this fundamental issue that you draw attention to.
that is that people are not taught to think critically. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> don't know what, if this was your experience, but in some ways we're the beneficiary of that at harvard because we get students to have rejected that and demand critical thinking. those are some of our brightest and best. >> and beyond that they also develop critical thinking. they ask questions -- >> yeah. >> and they -- >> [inaudible] >> professor vogel, i imagine that it will be ten or twenty years before another biography about deng xiaoping at the lev of yours -- at the level of yours is going to be written. when that book is written, what would you like to see it cover that your book was not able to cover? [laughter] >> that's a great question. when i was writing it, i was afraid that somebody else might beat me to it. [laughter] but there is nobody else that's done anything comparable, and it would take a few years to get
anything comparable, and i had a lot of good luck, some of which was having so many chinese students here who developed connections that i could interview a lot of people that ordinary people could not interview. when i hosted -- [inaudible] in 1998, by -- i was able to interview him about deng xiaoping, and i don't know of anybody else who's interviewed him. one source of information, of course, is going to come out, and that is a lot of the stories of the meetings. and a lot of the rich detail of discussions and i think records of meetings will come out. and it'll give a much richer picture of the decision-making pro. because deng did -- process. because deng did not keep notes. it's tough for a biographer of deng. but i think what i would like to see, i may not be around to see 10, 20 years the new biographies
wasn't survived but one of the people who had been in france who was headed to the committee to take charge of propaganda for the second time of course was 1966 and the cultural revolution was one of the leaders and authorities taking a cap on this road. the third time as the end of 1975 and early 76. now again, for fear he would not follow his path of the continued revolution and continue the respect for what mao had done. so those are all the kind of things that are setbacks, but in terms of things you might call
errors or another era think that he made was 1988. it's true that he was in a big hurry and the person that he was paired with were to very closely with him and was in some respect much more cautious person and when you work together you accomplish much, much more. he was in such a hurry to release prices he knew he was going to end his career soon to set off before he retired so he really is all kind of prices when there were already all kinds of inflation pressures, so that made inflation go sky high and that is part of the reasons so many people in beijing were no longer enthusiastic as they had been before. >> professor, thank you very much for presenting this history
to the american people. i'm 30-years-old from beijing, and this is not only the history of the person but it's also the history of a lot of people in my generation and i grew up with these policies and i think this is great for more and more people to know better what he did in china and not just through the superficial events from the newspapers. this is my fourth already. i usually tell them those that are willing to know better about chinese history during the past 30 years to be a my question will be very simple. this is the history for the
future what is the point of view between -- what is you're point of view of china's rise and the american relative to read >> i think there will be a lot of tension between china and the united states. as kissinger pointed out in his book for eight presidents and necks and all of them felt we must be engaged with china and work with china, so even though there's a lot of attention and competition, in the end i think it is the leaders of both countries recognize that it's in their interest to contain the pressure for competition and part particularly distressed.
i think the most critical single problem we now refer to the strategic mistrust and we are not short of the chinese military intentions and they are not confident about americans. we say we want to engage with china but they suspect we don't, and we hear the chinese leaders say they want a peaceful rise than in the south china sea they have many patrol boats that are coming in conflict with votes other countries. i think it is going to take a lot of determination on the part of a lot of the leaders and much more open discussions of the military goals and much more transparency and military preparedness on both sides in order to achieve the kind of cooperation and future that we all want. >> china faces a lot of
challenges today not just internationally. many of the challenge is created either by the policies that deng and planted or the rising of issues put on his watch china faces still looming demographic challenge both in terms of declining numbers of working age people and declining a terrible imbalance as the results of the one child policy, extraordinarily fire mental challenges given in part by the expansion of the economy political challenges driven by the middle class which is demanding new rights and so on. deng has gone to meet marx but if he were still on the scene, what would he think are the biggest challenges facing china, and what would he be doing about them? >> we have a brilliant summation of the issues we are facing. i think deng were still alive
today the biggest issue he would think of this corruption because he always thought of political support as tehrik-e to power to read it was one of the fundamental things he was concerned with, and with so much corruption there's a danger that people will no longer support the communist party, and when he was up and down in 1982, he said, you know, we must used to fists, grab reform with one and illegally hid. corruption with the other come and i think that he is of course much stronger and have a stronger base of power than the leaders do nowadays but hit he were alive he would attack that. but i think in terms of openness i think also he would work hard to deal with of that strategic distrust. he felt the soviet union made a terrible error by having enemies spending so much on the military
and exhausting the nation on trying to maintain a small military when they didn't build up their own country, and he would slow down the growth of military and work to have better relations with all powers including japan especially. but i think that he would also make sure they didn't spend so much on the military. >> thank you ezra vogel. [applause]
>> this is a book not just about lyndon johnson but about robert kennedy and jack kennedy and the interplay of their personality particularly, and it's a very complicated story but i don't think people know. it's too very complicated people and robert kennedy and lyndon johnson, and i had to really go into that and try to explain it because this part of the story all the way through the johnson presidency that's done, and i suppose chronologically at the moment from the 1965 voting rights act, and that's sort of one we believe to not use the medwatch this interview and others by robert online at the c-span video library.
think barnes and noble for hosting this so we can get together and talk about issues that i think are very important. there seems to be something in the united states a lot of people don't realize that america failed. they think it's still going on just as i entered hear someone said to me i didn't know america failed. stick around. i also wanted to just locate this particular talked in terms of stuff life in writing. this is the flirt in a trilogy of the american empire. the first was american culture which was published in the year
2000. the second was called dark ages in america, and this came out about a month ago. there was however collection of essays i published about a year ago so book number two and number three. half of the essays are about the united states, and i want to encourage you to have a look at the book it's called a question of values and the reason is it is important is this material that's not in any of the other books but it deals with the kind of unconscious programming that americans have. it leaves them to the things they do rather it is the person in the street or the president. and that sort of complete the picture. so i just want to, you know, encourage you to have a look at that. the title of this talk tonight is the way we live today. despite great pressure to
conform in the united states and celebrate the united states as the best system in the world of the nation doesn't lack for critics to forget the last two decades have seen the murders were criticizing the u.s. foreign policy, domestic policy and particular economic policy. the american educational system, the court system, the military, the media, corporate influence over american life and so on. most of this is very astute and i've learned much in reading the studies but two things in particular are lacking in my opinion and have a very hard time making it into the public eye partly because americans are not trained to think of a holistic or synthetic fashion and partly because the analysis i have in mind is too close to the bone. it's difficult for americans to hear it and somebody to say i didn't know. the first thing they lacked is an integration of the factors that have done the country in.
they send specific as though the institution under examination existed in the kind of vacuum and could really be understood apart from other institutions. the second thing i find lacking is the relationship for the culture at large for the value and the behavior that americans manifest on a daily basis. as the result of the critiques are finally superficial. they don't really go to the root of the problem and this avoidance enables them to be optimistic, which places them in the american mainstream. the authors often concluded the studies with practical recommendations as to how the particular institutional dysfunction they've identified can be rectified. they are as a result not much of a threat. it's usually in the chemical analysis with a solution. if the offers that were to realize that these problems do not exist in the vacuum but are related to all the other problems and are found written
in the nature of american culture itself, and its dnase to speak the prognosis wouldn't be so rosy. it would become clear that there simply is no way out by turning things around is not an option at this point to read to take two examples, michael more and noam chomsky. i admire them greatly. they've done a lot to raise awareness in the united states, to show that both foreign domestic policy as well as current pursuits are dead-end as or worse. yet both of these men assume the problem is coming from the top with the pentagon and the corporations which is partly true of course that this rests on the theory of false consciousness. there is these institutions have pulled over the eyes of the american citizen who is ultimately rational or well-intentioned i would say talk to some people and find out